So, as always I’m delayed in writing an update. What else is new, hopefully it’s still all fresh in my very mushed mummy brain.
On the 5th December, myself, the boyfriend, the baby and my mother headed back to Forest Holidays at Sherwood Pines. If you remember from just over a year ago, I was taken there for my 30th birthday as a surprise and we really enjoyed it so decided to go back, just a few weeks later in the year this time.
Last time, we went for a long weekend, but it just wasn’t long enough. I think because you can’t check in until 4pm on the Friday and you have to check out by 10am on the Monday, you only get two full days so don’t feel like you get much time there. This time we went for 5 days/4 nights, Monday- Friday. Because we went early December, I guess out of season, and the fact we could exchange our Tesco club card vouchers, this mini-break was a bargain.
The evenings weren’t so great. She didn’t settle well at all (surprise surprise) and I ended up on the large sofa in the cabin with her every night. I certainly didn’t get the break I had hoped for, but what do you class as a break when you have children? It helped that my mum was there. She’s an early rises anyway, and once she was up, she was happy (ish lol) to tool after Thea so I could go back to bed for an hour.
The day times were lovely. On the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the Friday we went out for walks around the Forest. Not too far, but far enough just to get out so we could enjoy the scenery and so Thea could have a run around. She absolutely loved to see all of the dogs, and was ecstatic every time she saw one.
On the Wednesday afternoon we all took walk up to the retreat and had a drink and some cake. It’s really nice in there and for the most of it, isn’t overly expensive. You would find yourself paying around a ‘posh pub grub’ price of £9/10 for a burger or pizza. I think next time we may eat up there one evening. The prices however if you want to have say a pizza or Indian night in your cabin are ridiculous and we’re a little shy of £30.
We had done a food shop before we went and had actually bought the Chinese and Indian take away packs. We also had a ‘Brit’ night and ‘Italian’ night.
On the Thursday we went out to do a Christmas trail walk we had pre-booked. You follow a trail around the pines and answers questions, ending up at the retreat to get your prize. This cost £9, which isn’t that cheap so I hoped the prize was decent. However, they apologised as they didn’t have the Christmas trail in stock yet, which I found bizarre. Instead they gave us the ‘frozen’ trail- or something like that. Anyway, when I arrived home I did complain as this trail cost £7 and was exactly the same, and I wasn’t offered a refund at the retreat. I only it’s only a £2 difference, but it was more the point of it than anything. Anyway, they reimbursed us the full amount which was great, and the prize we got was a stuffed toy. We could pick a owl or a fox. We picked the fox as Thea thinks it’s a dog lol. I was fairly happy with this prize and it was worth the money as similar ones in the retreat were priced £15. The trail was a nice walk, but Thea was grumpy and it was actually quite a long walk so we left the last couple of questions which were up the other end and headed back. We’d been back at hour and my mum told me and Troy to go and grab a drink at the retreat, so we could just have five minutes to ourself. We headed out to do the last questions then found a different route round which was a nice walk. The retreat was pretty much empty and it was really nice to just sit there and relax. We were gone around an hour and a half and to be honest we both could have just stayed there, chatting about life but we felt guilty that we had left Thea with my mum so headed back.
Oh of course, we had a hot tub. Personally we don’t see the point in going and not getting a cabin without a hot tub. Again, it was difficult for us all to go in and night as Thea was so unsettled. One night I was really upset as I had to dash out and sort her out whilst dropping wet. In the end we just took it in turns. On the last day, I was up early with her and mum joined us about 6.30am. She told me to jump in the hot tub. So there I was at 7am in the hot tub in the pitch black listening to the forest come to life. It was actually pretty wonderful. By 7.40, I’d had 3 strawberry daiquiris- so yes, mummy did have a daiquiri! I got out a little past 8, and it had gone from pitch black to sunrise.
We took far to much food, but if we hadn’t have taken it all we would have owned we were hungry. It’s silly because there is a Tesco ten minutes drive away, but the thought of driving out of the forest and out into reality wasn’t very appealing lol. We also took a sack of bird feed. The wildlife in the forest is amazing and to see all of the types of bird makes me happy. Thea loved to see the squirrels come up onto the deck and stood and laughed at them, this was actually how I realised she had cut her first molar. Also one night as I was heading out to the hot tub, I heard some branches breaking next to our raised decking. To be honest it shit me up, but as my eye site adjusted into the dark, I saw a deer feeding pretty much right next to us. What a lovely thing to see, right?
We watched movies whilst there- we purchased the TV and wifi package, still plenty of CBeebies. I got to watch the DC crossover which was amazing…most of all, spending time with loved ones and taking the time the relax and get away from reality. As I say I certainly didn’t feel anymore ‘rested’ but I definitely got my break, and if I’d had it my way, we wouldn’t have left. It would always be nice to go for longer. I think they do 7, 10 or 2 weeks. There wouldn’t really be much to do unless we paid for activities or drove out, but that’s the point. To go and not do a great deal.
We’re going again next year, I would like to go at the same time as it’s a nice break before the madness of Christmas starts, but we’ll be going over Halloween, which is one of my favourite holidays, so I am excited, and excited that we can all sit and carve pumpkins!
Has anyone else been, or been to any other locations, or been on similar holidays?